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Old November 9, 2012, 08:59 PM   #394
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,338
No Life for a Lady

by Agnes Morley Cleveland. She was born in 1874 in New Mexico. Her book records life in New Mexico in the late 19th and early 20th Century. It's great reading for those interested in cowboys.

Here's an excerpt:

Because of the conventional system of administering justice was unpractical for us, we worked out a legalism of our own. Take for instance the trial of young Pedro Bustamente for shooting Casimiro Gonzales's dog. The cur had snapped at the heels of Pedro's already fractious horse, which promptly 'turned his pack,' neat phase for throwing its rider. Pedro picked himself up and shot the dog and Casimio had the law on him. It was some time before any law could be found, but finally Old Man Adams agreed to act. He summoned the litigants before him. Sitting impressively behind a table he had the parties to the action stand, their sombreros respectfully held against their chests. Their eyes were glued to the tome on the table before the judge. They looked upon it with awe, because they had never been permitted to look inside of it. It was a mail-order catalogue and contained pictures of ladies in their underwear. The youths' parents in their homes. Just what might be in that forbidden volume besides indecent pictures of females in their union suits the young men did not know. They did not question that it set forth the law covering their case.

Old Man Adams opened the book and ran his finger down a page of cuts of saddles and bridles.

'Ha, here it is,' he bumbled. 'It sez here, "If a dog runs out and bites at a horse, the rider of the horse has a vested right to shoot that thar dog." He slapped the catalogue shut and pronounced judgment.

'You, Casimiro Gonzales, ain't got no redress. Case dismissed.'

The verdict was fully upheld by public sentiment. Dogs snapping at a horse's heels can be very trying.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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